For the two pre-teen boys, we purchased wall stickers of Star Wars. They stayed up late last night arranging scenes on their wall. This morning, they were full of smiles and gratitude, telling me I was the best mom in the whole wide world. Glad they are so easy to please there.
My oldest recieved a basketball and basketball net for the court at this new house. Athletic to the core, A is thrilled with this purchase. Today, he spends part of his time playing basketball and part of his time doing soccer drills on the basketball court. A is the child I was most worried about in this adventure we took. Having survived the wars of West Africa and healed from the nightmares, A has a tremendous heart for other children who have come out and are still struggling to learn to heal. He opened his life and his heart to S for whatever length of time S was to be with us. He wanted to impart that there is hope for these child survivors. When S got here, S did not believe healing and hope were possible. When S left they embraced A passionately for a goodbye hug. I worried that opening up and talking about his journey and healing might retrigger A like it did his father. However, we all knew that S neeeded to know there is hope. I believe A has given S that hope now. If that were all we did for this exile, it would be worth everything.
We gave S more than that, but we gave them that.
Baby J, after spending yesterday mourning, woke up today determined he wanted "pikey hair" like his Daddy. So, Daddy shaved his long, toddler tresses and took it down to super short. After he showered, I combed it back and gelled it. It makes me sad to see his beautiful hair cut and him looking so grown up. However, he's three and a half and more than capable of making his own choices with his hair. So, spikey hair he shall have.
I realize that I am blessed. We have traveled through fires as a family and it has made us stronger. We travel a hard journey right now with M, but it too brings us together and we hold each other up. For a brief period of time, we were able to open our hearts and our home to another hurting soul and to give support that will hopefully make a lasting impact on that soul. While we grieve, this too we do as a family. I nearly lost the strength I held and this family holds in that world. It hurt, more than I thought it would to let that world come crashing back into our reality for awhile. However, we are still strong. Two and a half years ago, I was lost and bleeding when I walked away forever. Today, while knowing me and loving me is still a constant journey, I have found me. I am woman. I am strength. I have learned to care for myself so that I might care for those around me. I have learned to equally cleave to my husband so that together two cords are forever stronger than one, and to care for both of our needs. I have learned that together, with love and respect for all members of this house, we are all stronger. We survive and we move forward together. We'll hurt for awhile, but we'll survive. No one gets left behind in this house anymore, not even me. Our brief encounter with quiverful and patriarchy has stirred up all what that world did to all of us. However it was only stirred. We no longer live in that nightmare. I can watch a woman whose only value in this world is her uterus and I can realize that is not me. It will never be me again.